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Barbary Pirates

  • elljay (454 posts)
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    Barbary Pirates

    Not a historian, but I love the subject and am trying to fill the many gaps in my knowledge from our standard Eurocentric history curricula.

    Just finishing up “Pirates of Barbary” by Adrian Tinniswood.  IMHO it is critical to know the history of this era to fully understand the dynamics of today’s Europe/North Africa/Middle East relations.

    Did you know that 1 million or more Europeans were enslaved by the Muslim states of North Africa at the same time that millions of Africans were being sent to slavery in the New World?  There were slave raids as far north as England and Ireland, but the bulk of slaves were taken from ships captured in the Mediterranean by the Barbary city-states of North Africa.  The number of ships attacked was so high that European nations set loose their own fleets of ships, including European pirate ships.

    In fact, the high bribes and ransom fees imposed by the Barbary States led to the first two international wars fought by the U.S.  The Barbary Wars seem not to be taught frequently in U.S.history classes or mentioned anywhere except for the words of the Marines’ Hymn (From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli…) .

    We hear a lot of simplistic analyses of the current problems in the Middle East that rightfully condemn European imperialism, but rarely delve into the centuries of attacks  on Europe from the Islamic World.

    Anyway, glad to be a part of this group and looking forward to having more of those pesky gaps in my knowledge filled!



    Enthusiast, Idaho progressive, daleanime and 5 othersArctic Dave, melurkyoulongtime, elleng, DookDook, Haikugal like this

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12 replies
  • elleng (214 posts)
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    1. Interesting stuff:

    ‘On Countdown With Keith Olbermann, Monday, April 19, 2010, Olbermann took on former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin for complaining about President Barack Obama’s outreach to Muslims. And he did it by citing the Founding Fathers.

    He noted a remark from Palin to a Women of Joy conference in Louisville, Ky.: “Hearing any leader declare that America isn’t a Christian nation . . . It’s mind-boggling to see some of our nation’s actions recently.”

    Olbermann said that wouldn’t be mind-boggling to the founders.

    “President John Adams, of course, signed the Treaty of Tripoli, his outreach to Muslims,” Olbermann said. “Quote, ‘The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.’ That was ratified by the United States Senate without debate unanimously in 1797.”‘>>>


    • Idaho progressive (192 posts)
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      8. Yes I love quoting that to

      all the assholes who say the US is a christain nation. There is a new book out about it called “One Nation under God” by Kevin Kruse, I’ve not read it yet but am looking fwd to it. He has a new twist on why “god” was added to everything.

    • Enthusiast (11116 posts)
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      11. I remember that very program.

      MSNBC used to put out a wonderful product. I haven’t watched now for quite some time as I am in full boycott of them and the others including NPR.

      "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. There would be no place to hide."  Frank Church "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, 1848
      • elleng (214 posts)
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        12. Neither do I watch MSNBC now.

        ONLY listen to NPR if in the car and a special program’s on. Found this when looking for Barbary Pirates, as I recalled some important related history.

  • DookDook (267 posts)
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    2. I blame Sid Meier for my love of Pirates.

    The game world was about 200 years before the Barbary Wars, but it did teach me something of the geopolitical situation of the New World in the 1600’s.

    I’ve also been enjoying Black Sails which has been airing on Starz.  It’s the fictional account of Captain Flint and the story of a young Long John Silver from Robert Lewis Stevenson’s novel Treasure Island.  It is very violent but also very entertaining as it mixes real characters with those of fiction.

    • elljay (454 posts)
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      3. The truth about pirates

      is a lot more interesting than the fiction… They came from all walks of life and were often working with the knowledge and approval of their governments as that era’s version of secret military forces. If they destroyed enemy shipping, great, if they were captured, the government could deny all  knowledge.

      Plus, parrots are cool!!

      Maybe we can have a JPR version of Talk Like a Pirate Day- Post Like a Pirate Day.  ?


      • DookDook (267 posts)
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        4. My wife and I always look forward to Talk Like a Pirate day…

        We play all of our Crimson Pirate CD’s and play pirate themed board games.  And we should definitely see if we can have post like a Pirate Day!

        And sea shanties can be educational as well:

        • elljay (454 posts)
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          5. Who are these insane people?

          They’re great!  And insane.

          • DookDook (267 posts)
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            6. The Crimson Pirates

            They are a band that does the New York State Renaissance Festival.  My wife and I used to go and one year we heard them and thought they were hilarious, they sang the song, “Golden Vanity” and we were hooked.  We stayed for their entire set, the group was on the side of one of the paths and would do a few songs and then move somewhere else as they collected tips and sold their CDs.

            We bought their CDs whenever they came out with new ones and we have the first four, if we get up to the NY Ren Fair again we plan on picking up the rest that they’ve come out with.

            This link for their song is them in costume and on the youtube page it had a bunch of their other stuff in the side bar, I love all their stuff, what’s funny is that it took a while for the third and fourth albums to grow on me, but I think it’s because I loved You’re Day in the Barrel so much.  When it finally dawned on me what the meaning of the saying was I had one of those, “Ohhhh!” moments, like when you finally realize what the song ‘Lola’ is about…

            • elljay (454 posts)
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              9. Thanks for turning me on to them!

              Love music that makes me smile!

  • Haikugal (6810 posts)
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    7. I just saw this, hope you don't mind if I include it in your thread.


    Blackbeard’s Ship Confirmed off North Carolina

    After 15 years of uncertainty, a shipwreck off the coast of North Carolina has been confirmed as that of the infamous 18th-century pirate Blackbeard, state officials say.

    The Queen Anne’s Revenge grounded on a sandbar near Beaufort (see map) in 1718, nine years after the town had been established. Blackbeard and his crew abandoned the ship and survived.

    Until recently, the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources emphasized that the wreck, discovered in 1995, was “thought to be” the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

    Now, after a comprehensive review of the evidence, those same officials are sure it’s the ship sailed by one of history’s fiercest and most colorful pirates.

    “There was not one aha moment,” said Claire Aubel, public relations coordinator for the North Carolina Maritime Museums. “There was a collection of moments and a deduction based on the evidence.”

    There were two main reasons for the team’s certainty, Aubel said: the sheer size of the wreck and the many weapons that were found in the rubble.<snip>

    Can’t get much better than Black Beard! :bananas:

    • elljay (454 posts)
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      10. Don't mind a bit!

      Interesting article-  thanks for posting.

      Blackbeard certainly was quite a character!